Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police   [open pdf - 541KB]

"Our investigation concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that CDP (Cleveland Division of Police) engages in a pattern or practice of using unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. That pattern manifested in a range of ways, including: (1) The unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force, including shootings and head strikes with impact weapons; (2) The unnecessary, excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including tasers, chemical spray and fists; (3) Excessive force against persons who are mentally ill or in crisis, including in cases where the officers were called exclusively for a welfare check; and (4) The employment of poor and dangerous tactics that place officers in situations where avoidable force becomes inevitable and places officers and civilians at unnecessary risk. Officers may be required to use force during the course of their duties. However, the Constitution requires that officer s use only that amount of force that is reasonable under the circumstances. We found that CDP officers too often use unnecessary and unreasonable force in violation of the Constitution. Supervisors tolerate this behavior and, in some cases, endorse it. […] The result is policing that is sometimes chaotic and dangerous; interferes with CDP's ability to effectively fight crime; compromises officer safety; and frequently deprives individuals of their constitutional rights. Based on our investigation, we find that the Division engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment."

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United States Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/
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